Sunday, July 31, 2005

Today's Sermon:
Why Do Americans
Hate Jesus?

Ignorance may be bliss, but it's also dangerous... Especially when religious posers suck the life out of your bank account.

Keep this in mind: Jesus said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they'’d fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited the prisoner.

40% of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments.

50% can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels.

12% believe Joan of Arc was Noah'’s wife. (Hey, an arc is an arc, right?)

75% of Americans believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves." (That was actually Ben Franklin-- not exactly a big fan of Christianity.)

11% of U.S. churchgoers were urged by their clergy to vote in a particular way in the 2004 election, up from 6 percent in 2000.

85 percent of us call ourselves Christian. (77 percent of Israelis call themselves Jewish.)

75% of Americans claim they actually pray to God on a daily basis.

33% say they manage to get to church every week.

Per capita we each provide fifteen cents a day in official development assistance to poor countries. (Second to last)

Giving to private charities for relief work increases our average daily donation by just six pennies, to twenty-one cents.

18% of American children live in poverty (compared with, say, 8 percent in "Godless" Sweden).

The USA comes in nearly last among the rich nations in funding childhood nutrition, infant mortality, and access to preschool.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported last year that the number of households that were "food insecure with hunger" had climbed more than 26 percent between 1999 and 2003.

Despite the Sixth Commandment, we are, of course, the most violent rich nation on earth.

We have prison populations greater by a factor of six or seven than other rich nations.

We're the only Western democracy left that executes its citizens, mostly in those states where Christianity is theoretically strongest.

Our divorce rate is over 50%.

We're still #1 in teen pregnancies. (Birth control is a sin, don'tcha know?)

Think I'm making this stuff up?

Bill McKibben, a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, discusses these facts in detail in the August issue of Harper's. The essay is called, "The Christian Paradox."

A good companion piece is by William Marvel, The Anointed of America."

Marvel recently attended a convocation of preacher wannabes and found...

both the ordained ministers and self-anointed truck-stop preachers engaged in an Olympic contention to determine who could praise and worship Jesus the loudest and longest.
Marvel also marveled at...

How strange, though, that those of the most pious rhetoric seem to be the greatest parasites of their circles, happy to let their wives, daughters, or parishioners support them and their families while they contend for the choice seats in heaven. How odd that those advocates of self-help and personal responsibility demand such hand-and-foot service from the distaff sides of their families. Perhaps women do, indeed, have no purpose except to serve man. Man, meanwhile, has no purpose save to serve God and obey the president, so long as he may be Republican and vociferously Christian.
As for those pesky deadly sins...

... All seemed conspicuously oblivious to the admonitions against gluttony, sloth, and avarice. Obesity seemed the norm, rather than the exception: one minister's wife looked exactly like a blue-ribbon turnip from the state fair, while another sprawled like a sperm whale, watching her blubbery little girl lurch from table to table to siphon off hot dogs and hamburgers. Arguments against earthly materialism also found precious little sympathy, especially among the ministers' own families. Their children all expressed impatience for the next planned purchase, from a tract house to some useless piece of Wal-Mart trash-to-be.

And so I ask...

Do these people really believe in Jesus?

I don't think so. I'm an empirical evidence wonk, though.


Go forth in peace, but cast a skeptical eye upon posers of all shapes and sizes.

They really do mean you harm. Serious harm. Hey, if it makes them look good, they'll do it... After all, it's just business. And God helps those who help themselves, right?

Whether Jesus approves or not. It's an "ends justifies the means" thing, after all.

And don't be seduced by their acting skills.

I mean it, damn it!

File this under:

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Googlezon? Newsbotster?

What will "news" be in 2014?

Crank up the volume and watch...

Click Here To Watch

I warned you.

This makes George Orwell look like an amateur, doesn't it?

File this under:

Friday, July 29, 2005

That Darned "Liberal" Media!

It took an extremely well coordinated blog swarm (crafted by AllSpinZone) to force our corporate-owned media to report on a missing (young, pregnant) woman in Philadelphia this week.

Why wasn't Latoyia Figuero newsworthy until we all screamed at Nancy Grace? She's neither white nor blond.

I told you that story, in order to explain this...

Today, The Washington Post has censored Boondocks.

From the
WaPo Comics page:
Andy Capp
Apartment 3-G
Baby Blues
Barney Google
Beetle Bailey
Bo Nanas

Boondocks: The Post is not
publishing the July 29 strip
because of content issues.
Close to Home
Dennis the Menace

Note that The WaPo had no problem with this week's Doonesbury content. Nor did the paper have a problem when Ruckus tells young Huey and Caesar to "just do drive-bys on each other and get it over with." At one point, Ruckus says, "Santa hates black people -- can't say I blame 'im."

So, if The WaPo is basing its censorship of today's strip on "not hurting Natalee Holloway's family," does that mean that the families of driveby shooting victims deserve less?

That's what it smells like to me.

OK, WaPo. You either want the perspective of Huey & Caesar on your Comics page, or you don't.

Decide, damn it!

File this under:

This Week's
Backside Of The Bell Curve


The People
Who Believe
FOX News Reports

This week's outrageous FAUX sNOOZe shenanigans? One of their carefully chosen wingnut "analysts" actually reported that Al Qaeda might have told that Brazilian guy in England to "look suspicious and run away from the police," (which resulted in his death).

That's right. FOX thinks Al Qaeda is recruiting South Americans to act as decoys, in order to get public opinion on their side.

(Rush Transcript)


Unbelievable! The next thing you know, FOX will be claiming that Al Qaeda and the IRA are pooling their PR teams to lull folks into a false sense of security before both groups attack local pubs, green grocers, and newsagents.

In a FOX-impaired mind, this makes perfect sense. Why else would the IRA suddenly declare a ceasefire and earn Tony Blair's seal of NOT AS EVIL AS AL QAEDA approval?

I have it on the best authority, though (my own common sense, thank you), that Brazilians and IRA members are probably a great deal more fearful of Blair's tendency to parallel the warped actions of our own American Republicans, who benefit from a scared shitless public.

To this end, I propose the following clothing remedies...

Hey, at least it's something.

Got a better idea? Email me.

And don't forget to read The Blog Box today.

File this under:

Thursday, July 28, 2005

George W. Godot
& The Boy Scouts

What's more fun than suffering from dehydration, fatigue and lightheadedness while waiting for George W. Bush to show up?

Doing it twice, of course.

Hundreds of Boy Scouts fall ill from heat

Associated Press

BOWLING GREEN, Va. - The Boy Scouts marched onto the field singing, plopping down in the grass to wait for President Bush. But hours later, the news that Bush couldn't make it was drowned out by sirens and shouts as hundreds fell ill because of the blistering heat.

About 300 people, most of them Scouts, suffered from dehydration, fatigue and lightheadedness Wednesday - just days after four Scout leaders were killed at the national Jamboree while pitching a tent beneath a power line. --snip--

At the last jamboree four years ago, Bush's trip was also canceled because of bad weather, in which lightning strikes caused minor injuries to two Scouts. He spoke to the group a day later by videotape.

This time, Bush was expected to talk about the importance of Scouting and touch on the Monday deaths of four Scout leaders.

Many Scouts ate dinner at 2 p.m. and stood in long security lines to get a good spot in the open field to see what for most would be their first glimpse of a president in person.

This story is sad on so many levels...

For many of these tykes, dealing with sudden death wasn't a badge-earning goal. Neither was learning that the President of the United States was a weather wimp... again.

Heavy sigh.

File this under:

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What The Bloody Hell Is Tony Blair Smoking?

During the recent London terrorist attacks, scads of journalists and talking hairdos hailed the resilience of the British people, specifically noting the IRA bombings and England's stiff upper lip response.

Today, Tony Blair had an opportunity to condemn all forms of terrorism (at home and abroad), and what did he say?

IRA are not al-Qaeda says Blair
Al-Qaeda terrorism is not on the same par as the IRA, Prime Minister Tony Blair has suggested.

He said IRA political demands or their previous atrocities could not be directly compared to fundamentalists who carried out the 9/11 US attacks.

It was invidious to make comparisons because "terrorism is wrong", he said.

"I don't think you can compare the political demands of republicanism with the political demands of this terrorist ideology we're facing now."


Timeline: Past London Attacks

Here are some of the worst attacks on mainland Britain in the last thirty years. Most were related to the conflict in Northern Ireland.

February 1974 - Coach carrying soldiers and families in northern England is bombed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Twelve people killed, 14 hurt.

October-November 1974 - Wave of IRA bombs in British pubs kills 28 people and wounds more than 200. Several people are convicted but cleared almost two decades later.

July 1982 - Two IRA bomb attacks on soldiers in London's royal parks kill 11 people and wound 50.

December 1983 - IRA Bomb at London's Harrods department store kills six.

October 1984 - Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's cabinet narrowly escapes IRA bomb which kills five people at hotel in English resort of Brighton during the Conservative Party's annual conference.

September 1989 - Bomb at Royal Marines Music School in Deal, southeast England, kills 11 and wounds 22.

February 1991 - The IRA fires mortar bomb at Prime Minister John Major's London office. No one is injured.

April 1992 - Huge car bomb outside Baltic Exchange in London's financial district kills three people and injures 91.

March 1993 - Bombs in two litter bins in Warrington, northern England, kill two boys aged three and 12.

April 1993 - IRA truck bomb devastates Bishopsgate area of London's financial district, killing one and injuring 44.

February 1996 - Two people die when IRA guerrillas detonate large bomb in London's Docklands area.

March 2001 - A powerful car bomb explodes outside the BBC's London headquarters. Police say the Real IRA, a republican splinter group opposed to the IRA's ceasefire, were behind the blast. One man was injured.

July 2005 - A number of people are killed in a series of explosions on London's transport system, causing chaos in the British capital.Several blasts hit the underground network and police say there have been at least three explosions on buses in the city. LINK

Terrorism is terrorism, Tony.

It's a tactic.

Tactics can't be patented by one group at a time, Tony.

And neither skin color nor religious affiliation is a prerequisite.

By the way, Tony...

Invidious may mean "hateful"...

But it's Latin infinitive means " to envy."

I hope the IRA didn't feel slighted by your lefthanded compliment.

The last thing we need is one group of bombers feeling slighted because the Prime Minister says they're not quite as scary ("on the same par") as another group of bombers.

And to think I used to believe that Tony Blair was smart.

What the bloody hell was I smoking?

File this under:

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Twice Told Tales

I once knew a young soldier who died in a helicopter crash a few days after arriving in Vietnam. When I read the official Pentagon letter recounting the events of that fateful day, I knew instantly that it was a skillfully crafted work of fiction. The text was chock full of heroism, bravery, unwavering love of country, and other unverifiable "facts." The only verifiable fact: there were no survivors to question the letter's content.

The letter did, however, console the grieving family: Letter Mission accomplished, I suppose.

Later, when the military and the FBI came to my campus to recruit English and Foreign Language majors, I learned that composing such letters (along with military press releases) was a career option for me.

I declined the offers.

Fast forward to last week.

On July 24th, the Pentagon released this:

"'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified."

However, on July 13, the Pentagon had released this:

"'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. 'They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists.'"

The Pentagon claimed to be "investigating" the obvious SNAFU.

So, who's consoled by the Pentagon's Olsen Twins Iraq quotes?

First of all, George W. Bush. The words were obviously snatched from his limited public comment/ stump speech vocabulary list.

Republican Congress critters, whose need to say, "We had to attack Iraq, and this is proof that our mission has value" supersedes reality.

Republican party supporters, who must be reminded constantly that the smell of burning flesh in Iraq is a good thing.

Today, the Pentagon admits the "error."

U.S. military admits error in news releases

Statements had similar quotes from 'unidentified Iraqi'

Monday, July 25, 2005 Posted: 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- The U.S. military expressed regret Monday for issuing news releases about two separate attacks in Iraq that included almost identical quotes attributed to an unidentified Iraqi. --snip--

Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, spokesman for the 3rd Infantry Division, also spoke Sunday of an "administrative error."

Kent did not explain why the quote apparently was changed to apply to the latest attack.


The explanation Kent would have to address wouldn't please the Pentagon, would it?

Oh, by the way, that rancid odor is just more Pentagon bullshit, designed to console you and yours.

Heavy, Proustian sigh.

File this under:

Monday, July 25, 2005

John Roberts "Forgets" 1997-1998

Roberts' personal physician needs to order Alzheimer's tests, a full psych workup, and whatever else the medical profession routinely recommends for highly successful litigators with such sudden total memory loss.

At any rate, Roberts shouldn't be representing clients or considering a seat on the US Supreme Court if his memory loss is so profound.

George W.'s Supreme Court nominee DOES NOT RECALL being listed on the Federalist Society's 1997-98 Leadership roster.


Not only does Roberts NOT RECALL being listed on the Federalist Society's 1997-98 Leadership roster, he DOES NOT RECALL being listed by the Federalist Society as a member of the steering committee of the organization's Washington chapter...

And Roberts DOES NOT RECALL being recruited by the Federalist Society's Executive Vice President Leonard A. Leo (or any other high-ranking Society official), either.

Roberts' memory lapse is so profound that his handlers demanded-- and got-- print corrections from The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Associated Press.

I didn't print a correction, and here's why...

No one, and I mean NO ONE, from The Federalist Society sought such a correction. I know they claim that their membership list is secret (AND WHY IS THAT IF IT'S SUCH AN UPSTANDING ORGANIZATION?)...

But why did

Could it be that the White House doesn't want the general public to learn about The Federalist Society's real agenda? From

In its mission and purpose, the Federalist Society is unique. By providing a forum for legal experts of opposing views to interact with members of the legal profession, the judiciary, law students, academics, and the architects of public policy, the Society has redefined the terms of legal debate. Our expansion in membership, chapters, and program activity has been matched by the rapid growth of the Society's reputation and the quality and influence of our events. We have fostered a greater appreciation for the role of separation of powers; federalism; limited, constitutional government; and the rule of law in protecting individual freedom and traditional values. Overall, the Society's efforts are improving our present and future leaders' understanding of the principles underlying American law.

And there is is, folks. Hidden in plain sight on The Feralist Federalist Society's website.

Traditional Values.

That says it all.

The Federalist Society now claims that Roberts MAY NOT BE a dues paying "member," but really, folks! The Federalist Society is just admitting that it works like every other damned Republican organization: make the little guy pay for everything while the top of the crop enjoys the benefits.

As for that memory problem...

Roberts may be a carefully cloned JFK (the Stepford version) for the cameras, but anyone who CAN'T RECALL 1997-98 shouldn't sit on the highest court in the land. Period.

File this under:

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Today's Sermon:
Gawd's Rainbows

That's what Fort Worth Baptist "minister," Richard Ross, calls teen sex acts performed by girls for their boyfriends.

At least that's what I think Ross is talking about in his first person narrative about his "True Love Waits" promise ceremonies.

In these promise ceremonies, visiting "minister" Ross (honorarium expected, I'm sure) preaches a sermon on abstinence and kids sign a card, promising to remain sexually pure until marriage.

Would you buy a used
car from this preacher?

“In fact, we so believe in True Love Waits that we provided a beautiful promise ceremony here three years ago.”

Though I keep a smile on my face, thoughts whirl through my mind. Three years ago? During that span, teenagers who entered puberty at 11 or 12 have reached ninth grade with no opportunity to proclaim publicly their promise of purity. Seventh graders fascinated with oral sex have gone all year with no invitation to promise purity to God. Eighth graders who go to parties where the girls give the boys “rainbows” (don’t ask) have gone yet another year with no promise. High school juniors gloriously saved graduate with no opportunity to stand tall for purity in a worship celebration. Families with teenagers join the church, but then wait three years before they are challenged to slip a promise ring on their teens’ fingers.

As for that promise ring...

Ross sells them on his website, LifeWay: True Love Waits...

Which brings us to Jessica Simpson...

Jessica Simpson's Virgin Vow


JESSICA SIMPSON's father JOE made the singer promise to stay a virgin until she married, during a ceremony when she was twelve.

Simpson Sr, who doubles as Jessica's manager, handed the 24-year-old a promise ring and vowed to be the only man in her life until she married.
He explains, "I'm going to tell you how beautiful you are every day. Even when you make a mistake, you are someone special. And I am going to be that person until the day you find a man to do that in my place."

Jessica - who married NICK LACHEY in October 2002 - then promised she would remain a virgin.

Joe adds, "What better gift to give her husband? Never touched by another man."


Go forth, knowing three facts:

1. Most people lie about sex.

2. Nature will out.

3. Ross and Simpson have nothing whatsoever to do with your "LifeWay."

If you honestly believe that signing a 3X5 card will win you and your children a few Brownie points with Gawd, go right ahead and do it... And buy the promise ring and order the cake and balloons for the reception.

Just don't go all Old Testament and beat the hell out of your kids when they break that virginity vow.

And don't model your life (or your children's lives) after preacher men with websites or parish priests who... well, aren't exactly poster boys for virginity vows, are they?

I mean it, damn it!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Just Another Coincidence?

I've often wondered why no one of national note ever voiced the 9/11 - 911 emergency phone number "coincidence."

Today, I wonder if anyone will mention the Shepherd's BUSH, The OVAL, or WARren tube station names "coincidence."


File this under:

Too Many Secrets

Morality. Legality. Ethical dilemma.

Questions about the president's involvement.

Sound familiar?

This is no mere sex scandal. It's not even a third-rate burglary.

Any way you look at it, this is treason. No other word suffices when our national security initiatives at home and abroad are compromised. Period.

TreasonGate - What Did Bush Know, And When Did He Know It?

by Thom Hartmann

Political smears by right-wingers are nothing new. In the election of 1800, John Adams had a surrogate newspaper publisher write an article about "Dusky Sally," the half-sister of Thomas Jefferson's deceased wife, who was also one of the Jefferson family slaves. Jefferson succeeded in avoiding the issue, and his friends pointed out that it was merely about his personal life, not national security.

George W. Bush may not be so fortunate.

Today comes the revelation in The Wall Street Journal that "A key department memo discussing Joseph Wilson's Niger trip was classified 'Top Secret,' and the passage about his wife's CIA role was specially marked 'S/NF' -- not to be shared with any foreign intelligence agencies."

Perhaps even more damning are reports that the Top Secret-S/NF document was apparently first delivered to Air Force One when George W. Bush and Colin Powell (who had apparently requested it from analysts within the State Department) were flying to Africa in 2003.

Somehow - nobody knows at the moment - the information in this Top Secret-S/NF document (the identity of Joe Wilson's wife) then migrated from Air Force One to George W. Bush's assistant, Karl Rove, and Dick Cheney's assistant, Scooter Libby. Rove and Libby then immediately began "dialing for dollars" - calling reporters with this juicy bit of Top Secret-N/SF information - in an attempt to politically assassinate Joe Wilson.

Which raises the question: "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"

It's unlikely that Colin Powell would have called Rove and Cheney (to give instructions to Libby) with the information in the memo - that was above his pay grade. Ditto for Ari Fleischer. And it's extremely doubtful that the pilots on the plane even knew about the explosive information they were carrying as they flew across the Atlantic.

Which leaves George W. Bush, as the only other person on that plane with the means, opportunity, and motive.

Thus, perhaps, the reports that Patrick Fitzgerald has now subpoenaed the phone logs of Air Force One.

Those of a certain age among us remember well the shocking moment when Nixon's lawyer, John Dean, confirmed to Congress that Nixon himself was involved in the Watergate scandal.

The urgency Bush brought to deciding on and releasing the name of John Roberts coincided relatively closely with a growing press awareness that the Sop Secret-S/NF memo with Plame's identity started it's long path to Bob Novak on Air Force One. Time - and an awakened press corps (and hopefully an awakened Congress) - will tell if Bush's own fingerprints are all over this treasonous act of political revenge.

If the object of writing is to incite the reader to self-actualization, Thom Hartmann's simple, yet powerful Op Ed should cause Conservatives, at the very least, to question the moral, ethical and legal problems their president has dumped on them... and on the rest of us.

Means, opportunity, and motive.

Many more questions to ask.

The quintessential result every writer desires.

File this under:

Friday, July 22, 2005

This Week's
Backside Of The Bell Curve


The GOP's
Tie Breaker

Supreme Court Joke Justice

Sandra Day
"OK. Now I'm Worried!"

"Watch my head bobble."

Many of you will remember that Sandra Day O'Connor began trying to clean up her legacy a couple of years ago, when she published her crapbook (No, I didn't leave out an "s") about her wholesome upbringing and love of the land.

Her pitiful attempt to distance herself from Bush v Gore didn't pass the smell test then, and today's lament doesn't, either.

NOW she's worried about the future of the judiciary? (Yes, "NOW" is worried, too!)

O'Connor Says She Is Worried About Future of Federal Judiciary

July 21 (Bloomberg) -- Retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said she is worried about the future of the federal judiciary because of a ``climate of antipathy'' in Congress.

``I don't think I've ever seen relations as strained as they are now between the judiciary and some members of Congress, and it makes me very sad to see it,'' O'Connor said today at a judicial conference in Spokane, Washington, televised on C-SPAN. LINK


Some members of Congress?

KKKooky Republicans got you down, Sandy?


Does Marbury v Madison ring any bells, Sandy?

When you lie down with dogs... well, you know the rest.

Your legacy can't be revised, Sandy. There are just too damned many of us.

You fucked up the country and the world when you cast that deciding vote in 2000 CE... and installed a dimwitted spokesmodel of demonstrated low moral character.

Suck it, Sandy! You can run, but neither you nor your legacy can hide.

File this under:

Thursday, July 21, 2005

It's Ken Starr's Birthday!

What do you give the man who wasted $70 million of our tax dollars on a love affair between two consenting adults?

Why, The Shocking Sex Book, of course!

Zap your naughty and not to mentioned (sic), nosey, friends! This book has no pages or pictures and operates on 2 AA batteries which are included. This gag is not for people under 10, over 60 or anyone with special health considerations such as
pacemaker wearers and pregnant women.

Starr is 59 today.

So disregard the "over 60" warning in the product description above.

Be sure to send Ken your warm (cough) wishes and your personal opinion of his deputy, Bob John Roberts (George W.'s SCOTUS choice)!

File this under

(S) Means 'Secret,' Not 'Share'

Remember that pesky Bush/ Rove Treason Affair? You Know, the one that the grand jury is all about? Well, after one day of "Quick! Look over here at George W.'s SCOTUS nominee (who, by the way, was chosen based on his personal "chemistry" with the pRez)," The Washington Post's headline reads:

Plame's Identity Marked As Secret


Not to be shared.

Got that, BushCo?

There's obviously a Deep Throat at work here, folks.

A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret, a clear indication that any Bush administration official who read it should have been aware the information was classified, according to current and former government officials.

Plame -- who is referred to by her married name, Valerie Wilson, in the memo -- is mentioned in the second paragraph of the three-page document, which was written on June 10, 2003, by an analyst in the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), according to a source who described the memo to The Washington Post.

The paragraph identifying her as the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was clearly marked to show that it contained classified material at the "secret" level, two sources said. The CIA classifies as "secret" the names of officers whose identities are covert, according to former senior agency officials.
It is a federal crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a federal official to knowingly disclose the identity of a covert CIA official if the person knows the government is trying to keep it secret.

This story, by Walter Pincus (who'd better, by damn, win a Pulitzer for his courageous reporting of massive Bush administration crimes and coverups) and Jim VandeHei, has propelled the Bush/ Rove Treason Affair back up to #1 on the Google News topic search list...

Plame's Identity Marked As Secret
Washington Post - 31 minutes ago
By Walter Pincus and Jim VandeHei. A classified State Department memorandum central to a federal leak investigation contained information about CIA officer Valerie Plame in a paragraph marked "(S)" for secret ...
Bush limits conditions on firing aides in CIA leak Chicago Tribune
'Bush's Brain' Karl Rove may have lied to the FBI Seven Oaks
Seattle Times - ABC News - Yahoo News - BBC News - all 1,217 related »

Some crimes are just too heinous to ignore, George W.!

File this under Hang 'Em

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bait & Switch

All day yesterday, your pResident and his flying monkeys fed the national media a bunch of bologna, which they passed on to you via the airwaves and future fish wrap.

"It's an Edith!" they proclaimed, still believing that their White House sources don't lie to them.

The two Ediths, however, found out by lunchtime that they were being served to you as portions of red herring.

John Roberts, corporate attorney, has 20 whole months of bench experience; however, his Republican party resume reads like a demon's list...

Roberts clerked for Rehnquist.

Roberts was Kenneth Starr's deputy.

Roberts was a major player in the 2000 Florida fiasco.

Roberts is a Federalist Society member.

Roberts argued against Gulf War I veterans sticking it to Saddam.

Roberts was one of Reagan's lawyers.

Roberts believes that Roe v Wade was the wrong decision.

Roberts is the wrong white, Catholic man for today's Supreme Court.


And your pResident knows that.

If you were paying attention yesterday, you noticed that George W. honestly had no idea before noon who the nominee would be. You could see it on his face. The ultimate decision was obviously made for him by the folks whose bank accounts are more important than you are.

If Dems are smart, they'll quietly state that corporate attorney John Roberts is an unacceptable nominee to represent American citizens today, vow to fight his confirmation, and get back to the serious business of treason in the White House, health care for all, an illegal war and its torture policy, and a host of other despicable deeds currently concerning the welfare of our nation.

Come on, Senate Dems! Speak with one voice for a change, and stop taking the friggin' bait.

BushCo's skewed poll numbers are in the basement. Don't waste your time merely lamenting the choice of this nominee. Filibuster him. Vote against him.

But get organized and stay organized, damn it. Histrionics will just make you look as weak as, well, the Repukes defending Karl Rove .

The people don't want this guy.

He's just another red herring, too...

And he knows it. he's not stupid.

When asked to justify your stance, all you have to say is, "Rehnquist-trained, Reagan's Iran-Contra Scandal defending, Starr struck party hack. That's not spin. That's fact."

George W. would never have nominated this particular white guy at this particular time (so far ahead of the first Monday in October) unless he wanted to divert attention from his best buddy, Karl Rove.

And that's the saddest part of this whole deal.

Saving Karl Fucking Rove's ass is more important than the nation.

File this under

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

About "Discrediting" Wilson

The weirdest Republican talking point this week is the claim that the 9/11 Commission report and the Senate 9/11 Intelligence Report both debunked Ambassador Joseph Wilson's yellow cake findings. Guess what, folks. The 9/11 Commission report never mentions Wilson (at least, not Ambassador Joseph Wilson). The Senate Intelligence report only mentions Wilson because Pat Roberts, Chris Bond, and Orrin Hatch attached an addendum in which THEY dispute Wilson's findings. Truly pathetic.

When challenged on this, I'm sure Republicans will come up with another whopperpalooza, like... "We thought you meant this Wilson."

After all, it's not their problem if the Backside Of The Bell Curve is too stupid to know the difference.

File this under

Monday, July 18, 2005

Bush Rewrote
Executive Order 12958
(Classified Information Access)

Why did George W. revise Executive Order 12958 on March 25, 2003?


The WHIG had to have access to the vault in order to fabricate (and subsequently defend) their Iraq war shenanigans, of course...

In the name of "protecting the Vaterland homeland."

By the way, the members of the
WHIG Group:

... communications aides Karen Hughes (Bush), Mary Matalin (Cheney), and James R. Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio; National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley

And then there's this
WaPo tidbit:

The escalation of nuclear rhetoric a year ago, including the introduction of the term "mushroom cloud" into the debate, coincided with the formation of a White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, a task force assigned to "educate the public" about the threat from Hussein, as a participant put it.


BushCo didn't want anyone exposing their lies before, during, or after they dropped their Shock & Awe load to settle an old family feud...

And they had to create back doors to classified information, in case they needed to discredit anyone who might blow the whistle on their tarted up "evidence" for attacking Iraq.

Ahem. Here's one section of both versions...

The Original Version (1995)

Sec. 4.2. General Restrictions on Access. (a) A person may have access to classified information provided that:

(1) a favorable determination of eligibility for access has been made by an agency head or the agency head's designee;

(2) the person has signed an approved nondisclosure agreement; and

(3) the person has a need-to-know the information.

(b) Classified information shall remain under the control of the originating agency or its successor in function. An agency shall not disclose information originally classified by another agency without its authorization. An official or employee leaving agency service may not remove classified information from the agency's control.

(c) Classified information may not be removed from official premises without proper authorization.

(d) Persons authorized to disseminate classified information outside the executive branch shall assure the protection of the information in a manner equivalent to that provided within the executive branch.

(e) Consistent with law, directives, and regulation, an agency head or senior agency official shall establish uniform procedures to ensure that automated information systems, including networks and telecommunications systems, that collect, create, communicate, compute, disseminate, process, or store classified information have controls that:

(1) prevent access by unauthorized persons; and

(2) ensure the integrity of the information.

(f) Consistent with law, directives, and regulation, each agency head or senior agency official shall establish controls to ensure that classified information is used, processed, stored, reproduced, transmitted, and destroyed under conditions that provide adequate protection and prevent access by unauthorized persons.

(g) Consistent with directives issued pursuant to this order, an agency shall safeguard foreign government information under standards that provide a degree of protection at least equivalent to that required by the government or international organization of governments that furnished the information. When adequate to achieve equivalency, these standards may be less restrictive than the safeguarding standards that ordinarily apply to United States "Confidential" information, including allowing access to individuals with a need-to-know who have not otherwise been cleared for access to classified information or executed an approved nondisclosure agreement.

(h) Except as provided by statute or directives issued pursuant to this order, classified information originating in one agency may not be disseminated outside any other agency to which it has been made available without the consent of the originating agency. An agency head or senior agency official may waive this requirement for specific information originated within that agency. For purposes of this section, the Department of Defense shall be considered one agency.

The BushCo Version (2003)

Sec. 4.2. Distribution Controls. (a) Each agency shall establish controls over the distribution of classified information to ensure that it is distributed only to organizations or individuals eligible for access and with a need-to-know the information.

(b) In an emergency, when necessary to respond to an imminent threat to life or in defense of the homeland, the agency head or any designee may authorize the disclosure of classified information to an individual or individuals who are otherwise not eligible for access. Such actions shall be taken only in accordance with the directives implementing this order and any procedures issued by agencies governing the classified information, which shall be designed to minimize the classified information that is disclosed under these circumstances and the number of individuals who receive it. Information disclosed under this provision or implementing directives and procedures shall not be deemed declassified as a result of such disclosure or subsequent use by a recipient. Such disclosures shall be reported promptly to the originator of the classified information. For purposes of this section, the Director of Central Intelligence may issue an implementing directive governing the emergency disclosure of classified intelligence information.

(c) Each agency shall update, at least annually, the automatic, routine, or recurring distribution of classified information that they distribute. Recipients shall cooperate fully with distributors who are updating distribution lists and shall notify distributors whenever a relevant change in status occurs.

Now we know how Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, and the WHIG came to have access to Valerie Plame's identity...

And why BushCo's flying monkeys keep screeching, "Rove isn't guilty of a crime."

He (along with his unindicted co-conspirators) was greenlighted the day before we heard the first report that the march to Baghdad wasn't going as well as BushCo had expected.

No flowers. No candy. Just resistance.

Here's the timeline. Remember, BushCo's minions (probably Gonzales, Olson, et al) had to be rewriting the content of Executive order 12958 during this time period...

March 19, 2003- Invasion of Iraq begins when the United States launches Operation Iraqi Freedom. Called a "“decapitation attack," the initial air strike of the war targets Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders in Baghdad , with unclear results.

March 20, 2003- The United States launches a second round of air strikes against Baghdad , and ground troops enter the country for the first time, crossing into southern Iraq from Kuwait. Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claims the initial phase of the war is mild compared to what is to come. "“What will follow will not be a repeat of any other conflict. It will be of a force and a scope and a scale that has been beyond what we have seen before."”

March 21, 2003- The major phase of the war begins with heavy aerial attacks on Baghdad and other cities, publicized in advance by the Pentagon as an overwhelming barrage meant to instill "shock and awe."”

March 24, 2003- Troops march within sixty miles of Baghdad. They encounter much stronger resistance from Iraqi soldiers and paramilitary fighters along the way, particularly in towns such as Nassiriya and Basra.

And, on March 25, 2003, George W. Bush signed his weird-assed version of Executive Order 12958.

Truly heavy, unrevised sigh.

How To Invite A Jihad

... in one easy step:

WASHINGTON: A Republican congressman said in a radio interview aired by a Florida station that if a multiple-city attack happened in the United States in the next 90 days, as predicted by an Israeli expert, and was found to be the work of extremist Muslims, then "we should take out their holy sites." Congressman Thomas G Tancredo, Republican from Colorado, was being interviewed by AM 540 WFLA radio host Pat Campbell, who asked him what the response of the United States should be were terrorist attacks on US cities to take place and were attributable to extremist Muslims. The Congressman replied, "... then we could take out their holy sites." Asked if that meant Mecca, Tancredo answered, "Yes." LINK

Tancredo's source on the 90-day attack threat?

Fox News, of course:

Counterterrorism expert Juval Aviv spoke with FOX Fan Central about what Americans can do to protect themselves in case of a terror attack.

Do you believe another terrorist attack is likely on American soil?

I predict, based primarily on information that is floating in Europe and the Middle East, that an event is imminent and around the corner here in the United States. It could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it could happen in the next few months. Ninety days at the most.

Yeah, this counterterrorism expert could be correct.

No one can protect us from random crazies committing acts of terror; we learned that from Alfred Hitchcock's experiment with it, didn't we?

And who needs a big-assed diversion, and I mean quick?


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Today's Sermon:
Know Your Saints

Saint Dympha

(Also known as Dympna and Dimpna)

From The Catholic Encyclopedia...

Virgin and martyr.

The earliest historical account of the veneration of St. Dymphna dates from the middle of the thirteenth century.
Under Bishop Guy I of Cambrai (1238-47), Pierre, a canon of the church. of Saint Aubert at Cambrai, wrote a "Vita" of the saint, from which we learn that she had been venerated for many years in a church at Gheel (province of Antwerp, Belgium), which was devoted to her. The author expressly states that he has drawn his biography from oral tradition. According to the narrative Dymphna, the daughter of a pagan king of Ireland, became a Christian and was secretly baptized. After the death of her mother, who was of extraordinary beauty, her father desired to marry his own daughter, who was just as beautiful, but she fled with the priest Gerebernus and landed at Antwerp. Thence they went to the village of Gheel, where there was a chapel of St. Martin, beside which they took up their abode. The messengers of her father however, discovered their whereabouts; the father betook himself thither and renewed his offer. Seeing that all was in vain, he commanded his servants to slay the priest, while he himself struck off the head of his daughter.

Here's my favorite part from The Catholic Encyclopedia...

This narrative is without any historical foundation, being merely a variation of the story of the king who wanted to marry his own daughter, a motif which appears frequently in popular legends. Hence we can conclude nothing from it as to the history of St. Dymphna and the time in which she lived.

So what do you do with such a specious saint?

You make her the patron saint of the insane, of course.

I'm not kidding.

Saint Dymphna is the Patron Saint of nervous disorders, mental diseases, incest victims, runaways, sleepwalkers, and therapists.


Go forth, knowing exactly what the holy church thinks of those with mental disorders.

And investigate the saint who had more to do with the advent of the courtly love myth than she did with healing the mentally ill...

Before you light that candle.

I mean it, damn it.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Rule Of Law's

Anyone who's ever worked for a political campaign has signed a non-disclosure agreement and undergone training as to its importance and legal ramifications.

What Rove did is unspinnable.
Our Governmental Non-Disclosure law's a hell of a thing.

JULY 15, 2005

Fact Sheet

Karl Rove's Nondisclosure Agreement

Today, news reports revealed that Karl Rove, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff and the President's top political advisor, confirmed the identity of covert CIA official Valerie Plame Wilson with Robert Novak on July 8, 2003, six days before Mr. Novak published the information in a nationally syndicated column. These new disclosures have obvious relevance to the criminal investigation of Patrick Fitzgerald, the Special Counsel who is investigating whether Mr. Rove violated a criminal statute by revealing Ms. Wilson's identity as a covert CIA official.

Independent of the relevance these new disclosures have to Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation, they also have significant implications for: (1) whether Mr. Rove violated his obligations under his "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement" and (2) whether the White House violated its obligations under Executive Order 12958. Under the nondisclosure agreement and the executive order, Mr. Rove would be subject to the loss of his security clearance or dismissal even for "negligently" disclosing Ms. Wilson'’s identity.

Executive Order 12958 governs how federal employees are awarded security clearances in order to obtain access to classified information. It was last updated by President George W. Bush on March 25, 2003, although it has existed in some form since the Truman era. The executive order applies to any entity within the executive branch that comes into possession of classified information, including the White House. It requires employees to undergo a criminal background check, obtain training on how to protect classified information, and sign a "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement," also known as a SF-312, promising not to reveal classified information.1 The nondisclosure agreement signed by White House officials such as Mr. Rove states: "“I will never divulge classified information to anyone" who is not authorized to receive it.2

Mr. Rove, through his attorney, has raised the implication that there is a distinction between releasing classified information to someone not authorized to receive it and confirming classified information from someone not authorized to have it. In fact, there is no such distinction under the nondisclosure agreement Mr. Rove signed.
One of the most basic rules of safeguarding classified information is that an official who has signed a nondisclosure agreement cannot confirm classified information obtained by a reporter. In fact, this obligation is highlighted in the "briefing booklet" that new security clearance recipients receive when they sign their nondisclosure agreements:

Before confirming the accuracy of what appears in the public source, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified. If it has not, confirmation of its accuracy is also an unauthorized disclosure.3

Mr. Rove's attorney has implied that if Mr. Rove learned Ms. Wilson's identity and occupation from a reporter, this somehow makes a difference in what he can say about the information. This is inaccurate. The executive order states: "Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information."4

Mr. Rove was not at liberty to repeat classified information he may have learned from a reporter. Instead, he had an affirmative obligation to determine whether the information had been declassified before repeating it. The briefing booklet is explicit on this point: “before disseminating the information elsewhere, the signer of the SF 312 must confirm through an authorized official that the information has, in fact, been declassified.”5

Mr. Rove's attorney has also implied that Mr. Rove'’s conduct should be at issue only if he intentionally or knowingly disclosed Ms. Wilson's covert status. In fact, the nondisclosure agreement and the executive order require sanctions against security clearance holders who "knowingly, willfully, or negligently" disclose classified information.6 The sanctions for such a breach include "reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions."7


Under the executive order, the White House has an affirmative obligation to investigate and take remedial action separate and apart from any ongoing criminal investigation. The executive order specifically provides that when a breach occurs, each agency must " take appropriate and prompt corrective action." 8 This includes a determination of whether individual employees improperly disseminated or obtained access to classified information.
The executive order further provides that sanctions for violations are not optional. The executive order expressly provides: "Officers and employees of the United States Government" shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified.9
There is no evidence that the White House complied with these requirements.


1 Executive Order No. 12958, Classified National Security Information (as amended), sec. 4.1(a) (Mar. 28, 2003) (online at 12958_amendment.html).
2 Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement, Standard Form 312 (Prescribed by NARA/ISOO) (32 C.F.R. 2003, E.O. 12958) (online at / 0/03A78F16A522716785256A69004E23F6/$file/SF312.pdf).
3 Information Security Oversight Office, National Archives and Records Administration, Briefing Booklet: Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement (Standard Form 312), at 73 (emphasis added) (online at ).
4 Executive Order No. 12958, sec. 1.1(b).
5 Briefing Booklet, supra note 3, at 73.
6 Executive Order No. 12958, sec. 5.5(b) (emphasis added).
7 Id. at 5.5(c).
8 Id. at 5.5(e)(1).
9 Id. at 5.5(b).

Rove has been working on campaigns since Gawd was a boy (Nixon was in the White House when he dropped out of college and began his professional campaigning career).

The Republicans would have you believe that Rove had no idea what he was doing, and that the George W. White House isn't aware of its duty in this matter.

They're lying.



Where's that famous Clinton era "Rule Of Law" battle cry now?

File this under

Friday, July 15, 2005

This Week's
Backside Of The Bell Curve


The GOP's
Expendable Pit Bull

NY Congressman
"If you dare question my lies,
you're immoral"


Peter "Expendable" King

Peter King is one of the current "Rove deserves a medal" and "Plame deserved to have her cover blown" pit bulls making the media rounds this week.

What a lovely guy!

Here's his written response to a constituent:

"I understand that you recently contacted my office requesting that I vote to censure President Bush," King, a Republican from Seaford, recently wrote Bellmore resident Harry Halikias. "I disagree with you in every respect. You are morally, intellectually and politically wrong. President Bush is an outstanding leader of outstanding integrity. Like Ed Koch, I thank God every night that he is our president. You should do the same."

Then, there's this...

Rep. Peter King said Wednesday he continues to believe that 85 percent of the mosques in the United States have "extremist leadership," and that while most Muslims are "loyal Americans," they are reluctant to come forward to cooperate with law enforcement when they hear anti-American rhetoric or plots.

And, of course, we can't leave out his statement on Rove's "Dems wanted 9/11 terrorists to get therapy" crapfest...

What Karl Rove did do was deliver a speech which was politically incorrect but entirely factual. --snip--

Democrats should welcome Karl Rove's speech as a clarion call to save their party from the left-wing fringe elements.

Here's the deal...

Political pit bulls are always expendable.

Sure, BushCo has promised to fill the re-election coffers of wingnuts like Peter King and Norm Coleman in exchange for their screeching support, but remember what happened to the GOP's Clinton Impeachment pit bulls...

They're spending a lot more time with the family these days.

Too bad for the kids.

File this under

Rove's "Testimony" Smells

I just cited an AP story, in which KKKarl Rove fingered Bob Novak as his source on Valerie Plame's covert CIA status (Scroll down this page).


It turns out that Rove was Novak's second source, and Rove actually CONFIRMED Plame's identity for Novak.

After hearing from Novak about Plame, according to this source, Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too." The Novak column appeared six days later.

The conversation with Novak took place three days before Rove chatted with Time magazine'’s Matthew Cooper about the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson. --snip--

Novak wrote then that a first inside official gave him the tip on Plame and a second source confirmed that. That second source was Rove, the Times says.

So much for Rove's "I heard it through the Novakline" defense.

"I heard that, too."

From whom, KKKarl?

Who's your treasonous buddy?

Pass the popcorn, folks.

The plot thickens.

By the way, file this under